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AECHMEA aquilega

Image of Aechmea aquilega

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Bromeliaceae

Botanical Name

AECHMEA aquilega

Plant Common Name

Aechmea , Bromeliad

General Description

The eagle aechmea is a tender evergreen perennial grown for its exotic blooms and handsome foliage. Native to moist tropical forests in northern South America, Central America, and the Caribbean, this bromeliad produces large, long-lasting, dome-shaped clusters of yellow flowers. At each cluster's base is a long red bract shaped like an eagle's beak. The tall, arching, light green, strap-shaped leaves are arranged in rosettes, whose bases for a central, water-collecting "cup." The leaves are edged with ferociously sharp spines. The rosette dies back slowly after flowering, to be replaced by "pup" plants that sprout at its base. Plants in the wild grow as epiphytes (on trees) or sometimes between rocks.

More sun-tolerant than many bromeliads, eagle aechmea likes filtered or dappled sunlight and a humus-rich, sharply drained growing medium. Keep the central cup filled with water and mist the leaves regularly, especially in the heat and strong sunlight of summer. This large bromeliad makes an interesting greenhouse or tropical landscape plant, situated where its spines will cause no harm. It grows well attached to a tree or wedged between rocks. Keep copper wire or containers (and any sprays with copper in them) away from bromeliads, as copper is toxic to them.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Epiphyte

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Latin America and the Caribbean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Red, Orange

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Groundcover, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No